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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 08:25PM

Mormon Church "Historian"/General Authority Steven E. "Snow-job" Snow has now confirmed what I have previously learned through my Mormon Church-connected sources. I suspect that Snow's snow-job response has been driven, at least to some extent, by the snowblower blow-back that these LDS website anonymously-produced cop-out essays are receiving, as a result of what Snow-job Snow calls “the Information Age.”

(click on, “What About Historical Questions: Understanding Events of Church History,” video featuring Mormon Cnurch General Authority Steven E. Snow, at: https://www.lds.org/topics?lang=eng#media=11373505780672488714-eng)


You’d better believe it's the Information Age, Mr. Snow-Job Snow. Welcome to the real world.

Snow-job Snow now admits what we already now know (and not because the Mormon Church in any way has eagerly acknowledged it): Namely, that these essays were a correlated product written up by non-General Authorities.

We have also learned some other things:

--The end result of this Mormon Church-correlated essay assignment is not the release of "accurate," "good" or "reliable" information.

--The essays are not "faith-promoting," "inspiring" or examples of the "beauty of the woven tapestry which is our history."

--Rather, the essays are manifestations of selective "history"-writing that are being spooned out to "surprised" (i.e., troubled) members of the Mormon Church who are now discovering facts about the LDS Church that the LDS CHurch has long been covering.

As my sources have told me (and as Snow-job Snow is now finally, belatedly admitting), the Mormon Church primarily went to "LDS scholars" outside the Church Historical Department who were willing to anonymously author the essays.

Snow-job Snow also admits that 'the presiding Brethren of the Church " (whom Snow-job Snow identifies as the “presiding quorums of the Church”--meaning, as he says, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve--didn't write them but, rather, reviewed draft productions of the essays and then made "edits." On other points, Snow's puff-piece response is contradicted by informed sources have revealed.

Cowards, liars and conspirers.

In reaction to this latest example of pathetic Mormon-Church spin, I think it would be appropriate to present--in one post--what my sources have told to me up to this point, in the order in which they were originally presented on the “Recovery from Mormonism” discussion board.
_____


PART 1: Authorship of the LDS Church's Anonymous Essays on Blacks, Polygamy, Etc.

I have had a recent, long, direct and informative discussion with a well-placed and highly-credible Mormon Church source, which focused on the question of who, specifically, authored the historically-revisionistic essays that the Mormon Church has now placed on its official website. (My source is aware of the fact that I am posting this on the Recovery from Mormonism discussion board, since I told the source I would be doing so).

Per mutual agreement with the source, I will not, at this time, be disclosing the names of those who participated in the writing of the essays--although the identities of certain specific individuals were given to me who, directly or indirectly, assisted in the authorship of the essays.

Just let me say that these essays were not written by members of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency.

I was told that the directed goal of the essays' authors was to craft statements that would satisfy everyone--an assignment which the source said was their first mistake. These publicly-unidentified-authored efforts, I was further told, ultimately were required to pass what was described as the paranoid approval of the Quorum of the Twelve--a group that was also characterized as being full of egomaniacs who needed to be humbled.

The authors of these essays were said to represent a wide variety of people employed by the Mormon Church in the LDS Historical Department, some of whom are historians themselves. In authoring the essays, these individuals were also given the task of contacting others outside the Mormon Church Historical Department who were considered by the LDS Church's Historical Department to be experts and scholars, and from whom all kinds of input was sought. I was told that the Mormon Church, in present circumstances, was doing the best it could.

The source noted that these essays would not be laying blame at the feet of the Mormon Church's founder, Joseph Smith, because that was simply not possible to do at the present time. From the source's perspective, the decision not to take problematic issues back to Joseph Smith (especially on the issue of race) was understandable, given what were characterized as current complicated realities facing the Mormon Church--although the source said that they (meaning the source) was not pleased with the essay on polygamy.

I was told that employees of the Mormon Church Historical Department were given the assignment of hammering out statements in their essay documents that would:

1) repudiate racism and sexism;

2) create pronouncements that strike a balance; and

3) lay the groundwork for the release of new information in the future.

I told the source that the sooner the Mormon Church quit mischaracterizing the historically-doctrinal (not policy) nature of official Mormon Church positions--(particulary as related to its historically-racist ones that are currently embedded in the LDS Church's canonized scriptures, notably the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price, as well as in the officially-authoritative statements of the First Presidency that have traced Mormon Church doctrine directly back to Joseph Smith)--the better,

During the course of our lively one-on-one discussion, the source and myself did not agree on all points, although our discussion was quite cordial, as it typically is.

So, there you have it:

"Revealed" Mormon Church truth, brought to you by anonymously rolled out, correlated committees.

In the name of, "Is this all you folks have got?"

Amen.
_____


PART 2: More Dope on the Rope-a-Dope Details of Mormon Inc.'s Anonymous Essays

Not surprisingly, more information is coming out regarding the circumstances surrounding the anonymously-authored and historically-dysfuntional essays recently posted by the Mormon Church on its official website. Much of the following comes from my recent personal exchanges with RfM poster, Tom Phillips, who has granted me express permission to post their contents. He notes:

“ANYTHING I shared [with you] . . . may be disclosed to the public because my source has already mentioned such details on at least one message board. If it is of any use, you may disclose it AS YOU CONSIDER APPROPRIATE.” Tom added that “[i]nformation given to me were quotes from [General Authority] Steven Snow; [Mormon professor of literature and religion at the Univessity of Richmond (Virginia])] Terryl Givens; and the wife of the 'primary author,' Jed Woodworth.” (emphasis added)

Here we go:

The Mormon Church's anonymous essay-writing project being described here reportedly involved a so-called “primary author," identified in this case as Jed Woodworth, whose role in the creation of the essays is said to have been explained by the author's apparently boastful spouse. (The spouse, it is reported, may have exaggerated Woodworth's role in the writing of the essays; it has therefore also been suggested that the road actually taken by the Mormon Church from the beginning was to appoint not a primary author, per se, but, rather, a committee or group of authors assigned the job of producing the essays). If, however, a primary author was utilized, then Woodworth is described as being a hard worker who was seen not only as a person who could serve as the point man for the essays but also, if necessary, as a scapegoat in service of the Quorum of the Twelve.

As to Woodworth's role as primary author, Tom Phillips, on the RFM bulletin board, has written:

“This much I can disclose, as it was posted elsewhere--information I had but had agreed not to share. Now I can:

"'Ahhh, yes. These are the essays being worked on by co-author to the book, 'Rough Stone Rolling.' Jed Woodworth. He was hired in May 2012 to go be a full-time history re-writer and give these sensitive issues a first-class scrubbing. He dropped the PhD he was pursuing at UW-Madison to be a lackey for the Q[uorum] of the Twelve. He was my Gospel-Doctrine teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin, 3rd Ward.”

This source quoted by Tom Phillips notes that his wife--meaning the wife of the source cited by Tom--had exchanged emails with Woodworth's wife regarding possible topics to be addressed by the Mormon Church's website-essay series.

(“Re: They are Deluded in Their Cynical Strategizing. The Google God Wins..” posted by Tom Phillips, aka “anointedone,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletin board, 24 December 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117820#msg-1117820; see also, “Website Answering 'Sensitive Questions' Coming in the Next Few Weeks")


Noting that the Quorum of the Twelve may have been significantly divided over the question of how to address problematic elements of Mormon Church history (a vexing sore that was described as having been brewing for years), the Twelve may have ultimately opted for bringing in an outside writer (i.e,Mormon-apologist Bushman's aide, Woodworth) who, it has also been proposed, Bushman himself may have recommended for the task.

In fact, Woodworth is identified as having assisted Bushman in the writing of "Rough Stone Rolling" (see "Response to Richard Lyman Bushman, with the assistance of Jed Woodworth, 'Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling' [New York, Knopf, 2005, 740 pp.]," review by Louis Midgley, BYU professor of political science, for the Maxwell Institute, at: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/19/1/S00008-Two_Stories8212One_Faith.html; see also, "Latter-Day Saint," by Walter Kirn, book review, "New York Times," 15 January 2006, at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/books/review/15kirn.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

In his capacity of Bushman's assistant on "Rough Stone Rolling," Woodworth is listed with the title of "professor," at: http://www.fishpond.com/c/Books/a/Professor+Jed+Woodworth

Woodworth is also identified as co-editor with Bushman on the book, "Believing History: Latter-day Saint Essays" (Columbia University Press, 2004, 312 pp.), at: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13006-6/

Woodworth is also profiled as having been a Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student working on a dissertation on U.S. colonial history, as noted on the university's Department of History website, at: http://history.wisc.edu/graduate/student_profiles/woodworth.htm


It was suggested that Bushman--along with Mormon General Authority/attorney, Steven Snow, who is currently serving as Mormon Church Historian and Recorder--may have wanted to get something published in defense of the Mormon Church in the disasterous aftermath of its so-called “Swedish Rescue” effort, which has been described as ”a meeting conducted by Elder Marlin K. Jensen (LDS Church Historian), Richard E. Turley, Jr. (Assistant Church Historian) and members of the [Mormon] Church in Västerhaninge Chapel, Stockholm, Sweden, November 28, 2010,” aimed at “help[ing] [LDS Church] members that are struggling with their faith after discovering information about the history of Mormonism that is disturbing to them.”

(“The Swedish Rescue,” including transcripts of the actual meeting, at: http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm)


It was further noted that adding to this growing sense of urgency by the Mormon Church for a quicker essay roll-out was the problem created by certain counter-productive and over-zealous LDS apologists (Daniel E. Peterson, John L. Gee, et al), who reportedly were only making matters worse for the Mormon Church's ranking leadership. Time to call in the Tidy-Bowl man.

As the Mormon Church's emergency-relief miracle worker and primary-relief essay author, Woodworth is said to have been lured away from his doctorate program by the LDS Church around May 2012, in order to undertake this newly-focused writing project. A year later, Woodworth was reportedly wondering why the Mormon Church had not yet published the essays he had so diligently worked on. It has been reported that the essay roll-out was eventually hastened to completion by this suspected frustration on the part of Woodworth, caused by delays in publication due to internal Church Office Building politics, to which Woodowrth was not accustomed. (The essays had apparently been scheduled for publication in January 2014 but were rushed out earlier due to pressure from what were described as external forces). Woodworth is said to have possibly constructed the essays in draft form, which were then put through the process of committee modification.

At any rate, I was told that the essays in question were produced through some form of committee system and were ultimately approved, but left unsigned by, squabbling General Authorities. Indeed, as one RfM poster recently acknowledged on this site, not only was this committee system for drafting the essays purposely put in place, he was solicited by the Church to help write those essays but in the end refused--precisely because the General Authorities refused to take personal ownership of them:

"Steve--

"I was part of the group that would eventually be charged with writing 'essays' for the LDS Church. Out of good conscience as a non-believer, I left the group during the discussion stage. However, I was approved to write for them after being interviewed for it.

"I'm not sure who generated the current list of topics. There is something not right with the situation and only because of the anonymity of the articles. The hierarchy doesn't appear to want to take credit for them, yet they are allowing the go-ahead to publish. I don't get why they are allowing this. Again, this doesn't seem right and is 'fishy.' I know the tech group had oversight, but I'm not sure just how far up the food chain it went. It seemed like we had more supervisory 'Chiefs' than 'Indians' working on the assignments. . . .

"During my interview, I asked what topics we were going to be covering for the articles, but the list hadn't been finalized yet. I recall being asked what topics I would like to write on. When I replied that I would like to write about the atonement, I was told to come up with subjects that are more 'Church-related' or ]historical.' I caught the tech group's attention because I had previously written articles for the Mormon Church. . . . When I was a member of it, the tech group was staffed by a bunch of volunteer idealists ready to fight the giant single-handedly."

("Re: To Tom Phillips: What Are Your Sources Telling You About Those Essays?," posted by "Former Tech Groupy," on "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 23 December 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117177#msg-1117177 and "Re: Very interesting, indeed," idem, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117199#msg-1117199)


The ultimate purpose of the essays has been described as an attempt by the Mormon Church to inoculate its faithful membership base by providing true-believers with an “out” for claiming that the essays (on the topics of officially-practiced, then lied- about polygamy, racism-based priesthood bans, etc.) have now been answered by the Mormon Church without any of its highest General Authorities being held accountable for their authorship.

Not only that, but the essays are said to represent a deliberate, concerted and calculated effort by the Mormon Church to remake itself for the next generation of believers, while basically trusting that present-day, pre-conditioned Mormons don't care about its actual damning history. This cynical outlook, which reportedly served as the propulsion for the Mormon Church's release of its series of anonymous mystery-history essays, is described this way:

"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don't want to start faith issues where they don't currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don't know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.

"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church's official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it's probably a wise move. . . . . [I]t's really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It's there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum." . . .

“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people's faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”

("The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?," posted by “epiginosko,” in "New Order Mormon," 10-11 December 2013, at; http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33954&)start=20)


Welcome to the Pragmatically-Perverted. Routinely-Remade Church of Jesus Christ of Puppeteered Saints.
_____


PART 3: More Info on Church Essays, Same-Sex Marriage and LDS Inc. Finances

As they say, when the Mormon crickets rain, they pour.

Below is further sourced information coming out from the inside on a variety of fronts, pertaining to:

1) the research, authorship and internal consequences of the Mormon Church's essays on problematic areas of LDS history and doctrine;

2) internal Mormon Church developments relating to the evenaul nation-wide legalization of same-sex marriage and how the Mormon Church may be preparing to accommodate that scenario; and

3) the extent of LDS Inc. financial holdings and who inside the Mormon Church super-structure does and does not have full knowledge of LDS Inc.'s full financial picture

--The Nature and Effect that the Mormon Church's Anonymously-Authored Essays Aee Having on Those Tasked to Write Them

According to a source of mine who has contacts with Mormon Church correlation committee employees, one of these individuals (whose identity, although known, is being kept confidential here) has direct contact with LDS General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder, Steven Snow. This Mormon Church-committee researcher/writer is regarded by colleagues as respected, informed, forthright and honest when it comes to Mormon Church historical issues--and is one who is seen as being well aware of the problems these issues pose to the Church. My source informs me that some of these Church researchers/writers, including this individual, get together on occasion to compare notes with one another.

The particular individual being mentioned here works within the Church's history-committee system and, from that vantage point, has been judiciously and strategically posting information in various venues about what they know about certain historical matters which are described as being sensitive for the Mormon Church.

For instance, it was this individual who publicly noted the following (as quoted earlier on this board):

"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don't want to start faith issues where they don't currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don't know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.

"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church's official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it's probably a wise move. . . . . [I]t's really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It's there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum." . . .

“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people's faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”

("The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?," posted by “epiginosko,” in "New Order Mormon," 10-11 December 2013, at; http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33954&)start=20)


--The Mormon Church is Said to Possibly be Preparing for an Inevitable National Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage and Considering Modifiying Its Temple Wedding Procedures Accordingly

My source has been in contact with what has been described as a well-placed and completely credible senior executive in the Utah corporate world (whose identity is also known but being protected here). This individual is reportedly aware of how the Morrmon Church's legal beagles may be looking at unfolding realites on the same-sex-marriage front.

According to this executive (some of whose posts I have seen), a member of the Mormon Church's legal team (a team that has long been battling marriage equality) is of the view that 50-state legalizion of same-sex marriage is an unavoidable eventuality.

Given that expectation, this Mormon Church legal advisor is reportedly of the view that the Mormon Church may ultimately implement a U.s.-focused policy that not only accepts civil unions, but that combines these constitutionally-lawful unions with LDS temple-performed sealings, in order to prevent the Mormon Church from becoming entangled in legal problems (along the same lines as the Mormon Church is now doing in some European countries).

commenting on these possible developments, the senior executive observed that if the law ends up driving the Mormon Church to adopt a civil-marriage-first policy, it would make it much easier to preserve family cohesiveness when, otherwise, certain famly members would be excluded from celebrating LDS marital events because they are not deemed worthy to participate.


--Secrecy Within the Mormon Church Hierarchy Regarding the Full Breadth of Its Financial Holdings

Citing the same senior corporate excutive mentioend above, my source reported that only eight indivudals within the Mormon Church's highest functioning bodies are fully ware of LDS Inc.'s financials. These individuals are:

1) the First Presidency;

2) the Presiding Bishopric; and

3) two unnamed LDS finanical leaders (although one of whom is said to be related to the aformentioned senior corporate executive)

Pointed note was made that even the Quorum of the Twelve is not kept in the full fnaancial loop.

According to the senior executive, this small, elite group meets only once annually, at which time the complete financil picture for LDS Inc. is reviewed. The other individual components of the organization are described as being limited in their knowledge to only that part of organizational operations in which they are respectively involved.

**********


I appreciate the willingness of certain sources to share tcredible, insightful and valuable information. The Mormon Church is in need of experiencing the effects of sunlight on its secrets. To that end, I anticipate that more information will be passed along as it is received.



Edited 17 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2014 07:55PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: Odell Campbell ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 08:51PM

The insight being passed to you is incredible. I am amazed of how poorly the LDS Church maintains confidential information. It is either leaking at the seams, or wants the "inside" information leaked.

Either way, thanks for sharing.

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Posted by: Tom Phillips ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 10:06PM

Thanks Steve for getting to the bottom of this matter.

Tom Phillips

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 10:08PM


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Posted by: Tom Phillips ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 10:11PM

It's 3.15 a.m. for me and I am pissed thanks to copious amounts of champagne, followed by single malt scotch.

Happy New Year to all.

Tom

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 10:13PM

Meaning, bye-bye Mormon Church. :)

Happy New Years backatchya!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2013 10:13PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: madalice ( )
Date: December 31, 2013 10:52PM

This is the "best" the church can do? Well well, don't the bullies look like the simpering wimps they are.

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Posted by: Fetal Deity ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 01:36PM

Steve, thanks for your tireless research and investigation into the matter of these anonymous, "reality-challenged" essays, and thanks to all those who gave you information and assistance!

: )

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Posted by: FTG ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 03:02PM

You're welcome.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 08:06PM


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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 06:32PM

Snow was not comfortable.
Take a look at the non-verbals:
https://www.lds.org/topics?lang=eng#media=11373505780672488714-eng
(Simply turn off the sound for any random portion)

Says a lot of confidence-yes-assurance.
The non-verbals are anything but.
I'd buy a used car from that man...

Great Stuff.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2014 06:35PM by zenjamin.

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Posted by: exdrymo ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 06:54PM

Thanks Steve. Very "nutrition dense" article as always.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 07:06PM

Good job digging up the facts, Steve. I have to wonder why Woodworth would give up his PhD program at a quality institution to take on that thankless task. He'll get no credit for it and worse, probably wouldn't *want* credit after the committee members have their way with his work. If he wants to pursue a career in academia, this puts him even further behind. It makes sense that Bushman probably recommended him for the task.

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Posted by: verilyverily ( )
Date: January 01, 2014 07:16PM

Thanks to Steve Benson and Tom Phillips, it will be a Happier New Year! THANKS VERY MUCH!

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